Quebec City, located in the eastern province of Quebec, Canada, is a beautiful and historic destination that offers visitors a unique blend of French and Canadian culture. Founded in 1608, it is one of the oldest cities in North America and is known for its charming Old Town, stunning views of the St. Lawrence River, and delicious cuisine. Quebec City has something to offer whether you’re interested in history, architecture, food, or outdoor activities. In this post, we’ll share some of the best tourist spots and hidden gems to visit in Quebec City, along with some travel advice to help you plan your trip.
Explore the Historic Old Town: From Château Frontenac to Petit-Champlain
One of the must-visit areas in Quebec City is the historic Old Town, which is known for its charming architecture, quaint streets, and historic landmarks. The most iconic landmark in the Old Town is the Château Frontenac, which is a grand hotel that has become a symbol of the city. Visitors can admire the castle-like structure from the outside or book a room to stay in one of the most luxurious accommodations in Quebec City.
Nearby, the Petit-Champlain neighborhood is a popular destination for those looking to wander the cobblestone streets and explore the local boutiques and restaurants. The area is particularly picturesque in the winter when the streets are decorated with festive lights and holiday decorations. For those looking for a bird’s eye view of the Old Town, the Funicular takes visitors up the steep hill to the Château Frontenac and the Terrasse Dufferin.
When exploring the Old Town, wearing comfortable shoes and dressing appropriately for the weather is important. Many of the streets are narrow and uneven, so it can be challenging to navigate in heels or dress shoes. Additionally, the Old Town is particularly crowded during peak tourist season, so it’s important to plan ahead and be patient when waiting in line or navigating crowded streets.
One way to beat the crowds is to visit early in the morning or later in the evening when many of the day-trippers have left. This can provide a more peaceful and authentic experience of the Old Town. It’s also important to be mindful of the locals who live and work in the area and respect their privacy and property. Overall, the Old Town is a must-visit destination for those looking to immerse themselves in Quebec City’s rich history and culture.
Take in the Scenic Views: From the Plains of Abraham to Île d’Orléans
Quebec City is renowned for its scenic beauty, and there are many ways to take in stunning views. One of the best places to start is the Plains of Abraham, a historic park that offers panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River and the city skyline. The park is particularly beautiful in the fall when the leaves change color and in the winter when it’s covered in a blanket of snow. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the park or rent a bike to explore the trails.
Another popular destination for scenic views is Île d’Orléans, an island located just a few miles east of Quebec City. The island is known for its beautiful countryside, charming villages, and delicious local cuisine. Visitors can drive or cycle along the scenic road that circles the island, stopping to explore the many farms, vineyards, and artisan shops along the way. The island is particularly beautiful in the summer when the fields are in full bloom, and the sunsets over the river are breathtaking.
When taking in scenic views in Quebec City, it’s important to be prepared for the weather and bring appropriate clothing and gear. The weather can change quickly in Quebec City, so it’s important to be prepared for sudden rain or wind. Additionally, some of the best views require a bit of hiking or walking, so it’s important to wear comfortable shoes and bring a water bottle.
One of the best times to take in the scenic views is during sunrise or sunset when the light is particularly beautiful. This can provide a unique and memorable experience of Quebec City’s natural beauty. Lastly, it’s important to be respectful of the natural environment and follow Leave No Trace principles when exploring the outdoors. With its stunning vistas and natural beauty, Quebec City is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Indulge in the Local Cuisine: From Poutine to Maple Syrup
One of the best ways to experience the culture of Quebec City is through its food. From classic dishes like poutine to sweet treats like maple syrup, Quebec City offers a unique culinary experience that can’t be found anywhere else.
Poutine, a dish made of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy, is a Quebecois classic that can be found on menus throughout the city. Some of the best places to try poutine include Chez Ashton, Snack Bar Saint-Jean, and La Banquise. For those looking for a more upscale dining experience, there are many restaurants that offer a gourmet take on poutine, including Le Chic Shack and Le Casse-Crêpe Breton.
Another Quebecois specialty is maple syrup, harvested in the spring and used in various dishes and desserts. Visitors can sample maple syrup products at the Marché du Vieux-Port or take a trip to a nearby sugar shack to see how the syrup is made. Some popular sugar shacks include Cabane à Sucre L’En-Tailleur and Cabane à Sucre Chez Dany.
Other must-try dishes in Quebec City include tourtière, a savory meat pie; cartons, a pork spread that’s often eaten for breakfast; and Montreal-style bagels, which are smaller and sweeter than traditional bagels. For those looking for a sweet treat, there’s nothing better than a beavertail, a flat pastry topped with sugar and cinnamon, or a maple syrup-soaked tarte au sucre.
When indulging in the local cuisine, having an open mind and trying new things are important. Quebec City offers a unique blend of French and Canadian culinary traditions, so there’s always something new and delicious to discover. Additionally, supporting local businesses and buying from local farmers and artisans whenever possible is important. Quebec City is a food lover’s paradise with its rich culinary traditions and unique flavors.
Embrace the Culture: From the Quebec Winter Carnival to the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
Quebec City is a city rich in history, art, and culture. From the annual Quebec Winter Carnival to the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, there are many ways to immerse yourself in the culture of Quebec City.
The Quebec Winter Carnival is one of Canada’s most iconic winter events and takes place every year in February. The festival features snow sculptures, ice skating, sleigh rides, other winter activities, live music, performances, and a parade. The Carnival is a great way to experience Quebecois culture, as it celebrates the city’s French heritage and the traditions of the Quebecois people.
For art lovers
For art lovers, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a must-visit destination. The museum features a diverse collection of Quebecois and Canadian art, from traditional Inuit sculptures to contemporary works by Quebecois artists. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing works from around the world. Visitors can take a guided tour of the museum or explore at their own pace.
Other cultural attractions in Quebec City include the Château Frontenac, a historic hotel that’s a landmark of the city skyline; the Quartier Petit Champlain, a charming pedestrian district that’s home to many boutiques and galleries; and the Basilica-Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Québec, a stunning cathedral that dates back to the 17th century.
When embracing the culture of Quebec City, it’s important to respect the local customs and traditions. Quebecois culture is deeply rooted in the French language and Catholic traditions, so visitors should be mindful of these aspects of the local culture. Additionally, supporting local artists and businesses by buying from local artisans and attending cultural events is important. With its rich history and vibrant arts scene, Quebec City offers a wealth of cultural experiences for visitors to enjoy.
Venture Off the Beaten Path: From the Morrin Centre to the Parc linéaire de la Rivière-Saint-Charles
While Quebec City is known for its historic Old Town and popular tourist attractions, there are also many hidden gems that are worth exploring. From the Morrin Centre to the Parc linéaire de la Rivière-Saint-Charles, many places off the beaten path offer a unique glimpse into the local culture and history.
The Morrin Centre is a historic building that was once a prison and a college and now serves as a cultural center and English-language library. Visitors can take a guided tour of the building and learn about its fascinating history, including the stories of the prisoners and students who once lived there. The Morrin Centre also hosts events throughout the year, including concerts, author readings, and workshops.
For nature lovers
For nature lovers, the Parc linéaire de la Rivière-Saint-Charles is a hidden gem that offers a peaceful escape from the city. The park features a paved trail that follows the Saint-Charles River and is popular for hiking, cycling, and birdwatching. Visitors can also see historic landmarks along the trail, such as the Maison Dorion-Coulombe, a 19th-century house that now serves as a museum.
Other off-the-beaten-path destinations in Quebec City include the Jardin Botanique Roger-Van den Hende, a botanical garden that’s home to over 700 plant species; the Saint-Roch neighborhood, a hip and trendy district that’s popular with locals; and the Musée de la civilization, a museum that explores the history and culture of Quebec and the world.
When venturing off the beaten path in Quebec City, it’s important to be respectful of the local environment and culture. Many of these hidden gems are cherished by locals, so visitors should take care to leave no trace and follow any rules or regulations. With its many unique and unexpected destinations, Quebec City offers endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.
The absolute must-visit places in Quebec City
Quebec City is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in Canada, boasting a rich and vibrant culture that’s sure to captivate visitors from all over the world. From the iconic Château Frontenac to the charming cobblestone streets of Petit-Champlain, Quebec City is home to a wealth of must-see attractions that offer a fascinating glimpse into the city’s past and present. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an art lover, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Quebec City. In this article, we’ll explore some of the absolute must places to visit in Quebec City, including historic landmarks, hidden gems, and local hotspots that are sure to make your trip unforgettable. So sit back, relax, and get ready to discover the charms of Quebec City!
Get Swept Away by the Iconic Château Frontenac
No visit to Quebec City would be complete without a visit to the iconic Château Frontenac. This grand hotel is a landmark of the city skyline and is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful hotels in the world.
The Château Frontenac was built in the late 19th century and had been welcoming guests ever since. The hotel is named after Louis de Buade, the Count of Frontenac, who was a governor of New France in the late 17th century. The French Renaissance style inspired the hotel’s architecture, with soaring turrets, ornate balconies, and a striking copper roof.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the Château Frontenac to learn about its history and see its many stunning features. The tour includes a visit to the grand ballroom, the lobby, and some of the guest rooms, as well as the outdoor terrace, which offers breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence River.
The Château Frontenac is also home to several restaurants and bars, including the acclaimed Champlain Restaurant, which offers contemporary Quebecois cuisine in an elegant setting. Afternoon tea is a popular tradition at the Château Frontenac, where guests can enjoy tea, scones, and pastries in the hotel’s cozy lounge.
When visiting the Château Frontenac, it’s important to remember that it is a working hotel and to respect the guests staying there. Visitors should also be aware that some areas of the hotel may be off-limits or reserved for hotel guests only. With its breathtaking beauty and rich history, the Château Frontenac is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Quebec City.
Step Back in Time at the Historic Plains of Abraham
The Plains of Abraham is a historic park in Quebec City that played a significant role in the history of Canada. It was the site of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759, which was a pivotal moment in the Seven Years’ War and led to the British conquest of Quebec.
Today, the Plains of Abraham is a beautiful park that offers visitors a glimpse into the city’s history and country. The park is home to several historic landmarks, including the Martello Towers, which were built in the early 19th century to defend the city from invasion. Visitors can also see the Wolfe-Montcalm Monument, which commemorates the two generals who died in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.
The park is also home to the Plains of Abraham Museum, which tells the story of the battle and its impact on Canadian history. The museum features interactive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia displays that bring history to life. Visitors can learn about the strategies and tactics used by both the British and French armies and see how the battle changed the course of history.
In addition to its historic significance, the Plains of Abraham is a popular outdoor destination. The park has several trails for hiking, cycling, snowshoeing, and a skating rink in the winter. The park also hosts several events throughout the year, including music festivals, cultural events, and historical reenactments.
When visiting the Plains of Abraham, visitors should be aware that it is a large park and may require some walking to see all of the landmarks and attractions. It’s also important to respect the park’s natural beauty and follow any rules or regulations regarding conservation and preservation. With its rich history and natural beauty, the Plains of Abraham is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Quebec City.
Wander the Cobblestone Streets of Petit-Champlain
Petit-Champlain is a charming neighborhood in Quebec City that is often considered one of North America’s most beautiful streets. Its narrow cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and quaint shops and cafes make it a popular destination for visitors looking to experience the city’s unique charm and character.
The neighborhood is located at the base of Cap Diamant, a cliff that overlooks the St. Lawrence River. Its colorful buildings and charming architecture are reminiscent of old Europe and provide a picturesque backdrop for strolling, shopping, and dining.
One of the highlights of Petit-Champlain is the Breakneck Stairs, a steep staircase that connects the neighborhood to the upper part of the city. The stairs were originally built in the 17th century and have been a popular destination for visitors and locals alike ever since.
Petit-Champlain is also home to several historic landmarks, including Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church, which was built in 1688 and is one of the oldest stone churches in North America. The Place-Royale, located in the heart of the neighborhood, is a historic square that was the site of the city’s first permanent settlement in 1608.
Visitors to Petit-Champlain can also enjoy shopping at the many boutiques and artisanal shops that line the streets. From handmade jewelry to locally crafted souvenirs, the neighborhood offers a unique shopping experience that is sure to delight visitors of all ages.
When visiting Petit-Champlain, be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as the neighborhood’s cobblestone streets can be uneven and challenging to walk on. Visitors should also be aware that the area can be crowded during peak tourist season and plan accordingly. With its unique charm and historic landmarks, Petit-Champlain is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Quebec City.
Marvel at the Majestic Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
The Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré is a magnificent church located just outside of Quebec City in the town of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. The basilica is dedicated to Saint Anne, the patron saint of Quebec, and is one of North America’s most important pilgrimage sites.
The basilica has a long and rich history, dating back to the 17th century when the first chapel was built on the site. Over the years, the chapel was expanded and rebuilt several times, with the current basilica being completed in 1926. The basilica is known for its stunning architecture and intricate design, with colorful stained glass windows, beautiful mosaics, and detailed wood carvings.
Visitors to the basilica can take a guided tour of the church, learn about its history, and admire its many works of art. The basilica also hosts several events throughout the year, including concerts, pilgrimages, and religious ceremonies.
In addition to its religious significance, the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré is also a popular destination for tourists looking to experience the culture and beauty of Quebec. The surrounding town of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré offers several attractions, including the Cyclorama, a panoramic painting depicting Quebec’s history, and the Montmorency Falls. This stunning waterfall is taller than Niagara Falls.
When visiting the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, visitors should dress appropriately for a religious site and be respectful of the church’s rules and regulations. The basilica is located approximately 30 minutes outside of Quebec City and can be reached by car or public transportation. With its breathtaking beauty and rich history, the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré is a must-see destination for anyone traveling to Quebec City.
Take a Stroll Along the Picturesque Terrasse Dufferin
The Terrasse Dufferin is a beautiful boardwalk that runs along the cliffs of Cap Diamant, offering stunning views of the St. Lawrence River and the city of Quebec. The boardwalk is a popular destination for visitors and locals, offering a picturesque setting for leisure or romantic evening walks.
Originally built in the late 19th century, the Terrasse Dufferin was named after Lord Dufferin, the Governor General of Canada at the time. The boardwalk has undergone several renovations over the years, with its current design dating back to the 1930s.
In addition to its stunning views, the Terrasse Dufferin is also home to several historic landmarks and attractions. At one end of the boardwalk is the iconic Château Frontenac, a grand hotel that has become a symbol of Quebec City. At the other end of the boardwalk is the funicular, a historic cable car connecting the city’s upper and lower parts.
The Terrasse Dufferin is also home to several street performers and artists, adding to the lively and festive atmosphere of the boardwalk. Visitors can enjoy live music, magic shows, and other performances throughout the day and into the evening.
When visiting the Terrasse Dufferin, visitors should dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable shoes for walking. The boardwalk can be crowded during peak tourist season, so it’s best to plan accordingly. With its stunning views and lively atmosphere, the Terrasse Dufferin is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Quebec City.
Discover the Beauty of the Île d’Orléans
Located just a short drive from Quebec City, the Île d’Orléans is a beautiful island that offers a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. The island is known for its charming villages, stunning scenery, and rich agricultural heritage.
The Île d’Orléans is home to several picturesque villages, each with its own unique character and charm. Visitors can explore the historic architecture of Sainte-Pétronille, the quaint shops, and restaurants of Saint-Jean, or the scenic vineyards and orchards of Sainte-Famille.
The island is also known for its stunning natural beauty, with rolling hills, lush forests, and panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River. Visitors can take a leisurely drive around the island, stopping at scenic viewpoints and historic landmarks along the way.
One of the most popular activities on the Île d’Orléans is sampling the island’s delicious local cuisine. The island is home to several farms and food producers, offering a wide range of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses. Visitors can sample the island’s famous ciders, jams, and maple products or dine at one of the island’s many farm-to-table restaurants.
When visiting the Île d’Orléans, visitors should plan to spend at least half a day exploring the island. The island is accessible by car or bike, and there are several tour operators that offer guided tours of the island. With its stunning scenery and rich cultural heritage, the Île d’Orléans is a must-see destination for anyone traveling to Quebec City.
Explore the Fascinating Musée de la Civilisation
The Musée de la Civilisation is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Quebec City’s rich history and cultural heritage. Located in the historic Old Port district, the museum features a wide range of exhibits and interactive displays, exploring the history and culture of Quebec City and the wider world.
The museum’s permanent exhibits include “This is Our Story,” which explores the history of Quebec City from prehistoric times to the present day, and “People of Quebec… Then and Now,” which examines the cultural and ethnic diversity of Quebec City’s population.
The museum also hosts several temporary exhibits throughout the year, covering a wide range of topics and themes. Recent exhibits have included “Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives” and “Japan: A Thousand-Year Enigma.”
In addition to its exhibits, the Musée de la Civilisation also offers a range of educational programs and activities for visitors of all ages. The museum’s “Discovery Zone” is a hands-on learning space designed for children, with interactive exhibits and educational activities.
When visiting the Musée de la Civilisation, visitors should plan to spend at least a few hours exploring the exhibits and taking part in the museum’s activities. The museum is open daily, with extended hours during the summer months. With its fascinating exhibits and engaging activities, the Musée de la Civilisation is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Quebec City.
Indulge in Local Flavors at the Marché du Vieux-Port
The Marché du Vieux-Port is a vibrant farmers’ market located in Quebec City’s historic Old Port district. The market is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in sampling the flavors of Quebec City’s rich agricultural heritage.
The market features a wide range of stalls selling fresh fruits and vegetables, artisanal cheeses, locally-produced meats, fish, and various other locally-produced foods and beverages. Visitors can sample the market’s fresh produce and specialty products or dine at one of the market’s many food vendors, which offer a wide range of international and regional cuisine.
In addition to its food offerings, the Marché du Vieux-Port also hosts several special events and activities throughout the year, including cooking classes, live music performances, and food and wine tastings.
When visiting the Marché du Vieux-Port, visitors should plan to spend at least a few hours exploring the market and sampling its offerings. The market is open daily during summer and on weekends during winter. With its vibrant atmosphere and diverse selection of local flavors, the Marché du Vieux-Port is a must-visit destination for any foodie traveling to Quebec City.
Admire the Artistic Treasures at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a world-class art museum located in Quebec City’s arts district. The museum features a collection of over 38,000 works of art, ranging from the 17th century to the present day, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, and decorative arts.
The museum’s permanent collection includes works by some of Quebec’s most celebrated artists and international masterpieces from artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Jean-Paul Riopelle. The museum also hosts several temporary exhibits throughout the year, covering a wide range of artistic styles and movements.
In addition to its exhibits, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec offers a range of educational programs and activities for visitors of all ages. The museum’s “Art Alive” program offers a series of workshops and activities for families, while its “Art in the Evening” program features after-hours events for adults.
When visiting the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, visitors should plan to spend at least a few hours exploring the museum’s exhibits and taking part in its activities. The museum is open daily, with extended hours during the summer months. With its world-class collection and engaging programs, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the arts and culture of Quebec City.
Get in the Festive Spirit at the Quebec Winter Carnival
The Quebec Winter Carnival is one of Canada’s most popular winter festivals, drawing visitors from around the world to celebrate the season with a range of outdoor activities, live entertainment, and delicious food.
The festival takes place in Quebec City every year from late January to mid-February and features a range of events and activities for visitors of all ages. Highlights of the festival include the nightly outdoor concerts and fireworks displays, as well as the ice sculpture competition, which sees professional artists from around the world competing to create stunning works of frozen art.
Other popular activities at the festival include ice skating, snowshoeing, sledding, and traditional Quebecois activities like axe-throwing and snowman-building. The festival also features various food vendors serving traditional Quebecois dishes like poutine, tourtière, and maple taffy.
When visiting the Quebec Winter Carnival, visitors should plan to dress warmly, as temperatures can be quite cold during the winter months. The festival is held in several locations around Quebec City, so visitors should also plan to spend at least a few days exploring the city and taking in its sights and attractions.
With its festive atmosphere and wide range of activities, the Quebec Winter Carnival is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Quebec City during the winter months.
Experience the Best of Quebec City with Viator’s Exclusive Tours
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Viator’s exclusive tours offer a unique and unforgettable way to experience the best of Quebec City. From exploring the historic Old Town and wandering the cobblestone streets of Petit-Champlain to indulging in the local cuisine and taking in the scenic views from the Plains of Abraham, Viator’s expert guides will show you all the hidden gems and must-see attractions that make Quebec City one of the most enchanting destinations in the world. With a range of tour options to suit every interest and budget, including walking tours, food tours, and cultural experiences, Viator makes it easy to discover the charms of Quebec City in style and comfort. So why wait? Book your exclusive tour today and experience the best that Quebec City has to offer!
Places to stay during your trip to Quebec City
Quebec City offers a range of accommodations to suit every budget and preference, from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels and resorts.
For those looking for a budget-friendly option, hostels and budget hotels like Auberge de la Paix and Hotel du Nord are popular choices, offering clean and comfortable accommodations at affordable prices.
For those looking for a more luxurious experience, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is an iconic landmark hotel located in the heart of Old Quebec, offering stunning views of the St. Lawrence River and luxurious amenities like an indoor pool, spa, and gourmet restaurants.
Other popular luxury options include the Auberge Saint-Antoine in the Old Port district and the Hotel 71, which offers modern and chic accommodations in a historic building.
No matter your budget or preference, there are plenty of accommodations to choose from in Quebec City. To find the best deals on hotels and other accommodations, be sure to use the search form below to compare prices and book your stay today.
Quebec City is a charming and historic destination that offers a wealth of attractions and experiences for visitors of all ages. From the iconic Château Frontenac and historic Old Town to the picturesque Île d’Orléans and off-the-beaten-path destinations like the Morrin Centre and Parc linéaire de la Rivière-Saint-Charles, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Quebec City. In addition to its many attractions, Quebec City is also renowned for its local cuisine, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re indulging in poutine and maple syrup at the Marché du Vieux-Port, taking in the festive atmosphere of the Quebec Winter Carnival, or exploring the artistic treasures of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, there is always something new and exciting to discover in this enchanting city.When planning your visit to Quebec City, be sure to book your accommodations early and plan your itinerary to make the most of your time in this beautiful city. Whether you’re traveling on a budget or looking for a luxurious getaway, Quebec City offers a range of accommodations to suit every need and preference.Overall, Quebec City is a must-visit destination that will capture your heart and leave you with memories to last a lifetime. So why wait? Start planning your trip to Quebec City today and discover all the charms that this beautiful city has to offer!